A Gardener’s Notebook: The Guilty Gardener  – 2 in a series
Douglas E. Welch

As I had hoped — but hadn’t really expected — writing the first piece in this new series actually got me motivated to do something in the garden.

Who would have “thunk” it?!

One point that helped to get me moving was a recent 3-day sale at our local Armstrong Garden Center. They were clearing out inventory with 30%-50% all glazed pots as well as some similar sales on various plants. I usually try to visit this shop every couple of weeks or so, just to check out what is new and what might be blooming so I can collect a few new photos for my Instagram feed.

On this trip, we found some great deals on a couple of larger ceramic pots for transplanting our patio coleus and some geraniums that Rosanne grew from neighborhood cuttings.

Glazed pots

You’ve probably noticed that the larger of these pots has a significant chip out of the rim. Knowing that this would most likely be covered by the plant and not be seen, we were able to get this one at 50% off instead of 30%. A little frugalness never hurts, you know! 

We also found some new plants on rather amazing sale, including some clivia, which normally seems waaaaay over-priced. I picked up 3 of these for the back garden and Rosanne spotted a pink-flowered abutilon that called out to her.

I am always one to install new plants as soon as we get them so they don’t languish in their pots — especially during these hot summer months — so all three of these projects were completed on Sunday. The coleus was installed in its new “permanent” glazed pot…


Coleus in its new pot


Clivia installed

…the 3 clivias were planted in the back “woodland” garden (in an effort to green up that area). I also took the time to expand the newly replaced soaker hoses in this area to include the clivia…

Clivia location

Overview showing location of new clivia

…and the abutilon was installed in the same bed were our recycled pumpkins are growing. My hope there is that once the pumpkins are gone it will start to fill in this area.


Abutilon “Watermelon Pink”

More projects and request for recommendations

Even after finishing these smaller projects I was still looking out over the garden at all the remaining work to be done.

One larger, and more expensive, project is the replacement of our small, plastic, greenhouse with something larger and more robust. We knew that this inexpensive greenhouse probably wouldn’t last long, having paid only ~$50 for it, but we wanted to try it to see if we would truly make use of it. Over the last 2 years, we have done just that. It has been instrumental in protecting new cuttings and plants from our digging squirrels and also kept a higher humidity environment that seems to have helped a variety of plants get started and stay healthy.

Greenhouse overview

Greenhouse roof

What would you recommend for our next greenhouse?

I have been looking at a variety of greenhouses and here are a few that caught my eye. I think the polycarbonate construction would hold up much better and the added size would still fit in basically the same location as the existing greenhouse. The inclusion of a better door and also a purpose-made roof vent also looked good.

Palmram greenhouse 1

Palmram greenhouse 2

What is your experience with polycarbonate greenhouses?

Pros? Cons? I’d love to hear about your experience and any advice you might have.

There is still so much to do in the garden, but I must say that I feel a bit better about actually getting things done there.